The average audiences for two key evening news time slots on the Big Four affiliated TV stations were up in 2020 over the year before, according to a new Pew analysis of various data released Tuesday (July 13).
Pew said that local TV news was on par or outpacing network and cable news.
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Pew, which issues an annual review of key audience and economic indicators from a variety of sectors and sources, pointed out that audiences for the 4-7 p.m. and 11 p.m.-2 a.m. time slots were each up an average 4% (Pew cited Comscore data).
Total revenue (according to MEDIA Pro Access/BIA) was $18.4 billion in 2020, an 8% increase over 2019, driven by election advertising.
Gray Television, Nexstar Media Group, Scripps, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tegna — the big publicly held broadcast groups (and thus with publicly reported numbers) — reported a total $2 billion in political ad revenue, up from $1.2 billion in the 2018 mid-term election year, but almost two and a half times the $843 million spent in 2016, the most recent prior presidential election year.
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While digital advertising remains a fraction — less than 10% — of total TV station ad revenue, the category was up 6% to about $1.4 billion.
For a summary of Pew's methodology for analyzing the various data sources, go here.
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